UPDATE 10:20 am
The BC Wildfire Service says the White Rock Lake fire remains stuck with no significant growth in size or direction.
However, the fire remained active on the northern, northeastern and southeastern flanks.
Today’s forecast is mostly cloudy, turning to sunny in the afternoon. Temperatures will peak at 25 C with winds of SW 10-15 km / h in the morning becoming W to NW 15 to 25 with gusts of 30 to 40 km / h in the afternoon.
“The upper ridge should strengthen with mostly sunny skies. Some gusty winds (a little lighter than Tuesday) are likely Wednesday with light speeds expected Thursday, ”added BCWS.
The teams are working as quickly as possible to progress in containing the fire before the bad weather turns on them.
On the eastern flank above Westside Road, crews tackle the fire directly and work on a secondary line of control from the Salmon River FSR to Okanagan Lake.
Yesterday, air support focused on the Nashwito Creek area, which was the most active area of the fire.
On the northern flank, teams are working to establish containment to prevent the growth of fire towards Lake Pinaus and towards the Paxton Valley. A crew unit is working on an excursion near Ingram Road while an emergency line on the Martin FSR will be completed on Wednesday.
“The Guard is being built in the Paxton Valley by a unit crew and heavy equipment. The potential for a three kilometer firebreak, with a mass water system deployed inland, from northwest of Pillar Lake is being explored, ”BCWS said.
“If possible, this will act as a large barrier to limit the potential for fire growth towards communities northeast of the blaze. “
To the south, a 50-kilometer emergency guard is being built from south of the Fintry perimeter in the east to south of Lake Chapperon. The main control lines in the area use a combination of forest service roads, lakes and pre-existing machine guards.
Vernon Kin Racecourse is fully functioning as a fire camp for the White Rock Lake wildfire crews between Vernon and Kamloops.
The camp is home to approximately 350 crew members, including the BC Wildfire Service, structural protection units and the White Rock Lake incident management team.
Fire Information Officer Forrest Tower said the White Rock Lake fire was operational 24/7, with rotating day and night shifts.
Crews will be stationed at Kin Race Track for the next several months or longer, depending on the state of the wildfire.
Tower says that in order for crews to get the blaze under control, they are assigned to different sections of the blaze.
“In terms of fighting a fire of this size, you really have to break it down into slightly smaller goals,” Tower said.
“We’ll have different branches on a fire and then we’ll have different divisions and each of those teams is responsible for a different section of the fire perimeter and that’s what they focus on for most of their tour. “
The White Rock Lake wildfire has grown to nearly 56,000 hectares.
“In terms of the overall control of this fire, it’s a general fire and it’s honestly going to burn until winter,” Tower said.
He said teams are focusing on priority areas around communities threatened by forest fires, and once those areas are secure, they can move on to other areas.
On Monday evening, skimmer planes and bucket helicopters worked in the Nashwito Creek area, southeast of the blaze.
“There were Tier 2 and 3 fires along the fire perimeter when the skimmers were called in. Skimmers were used to cool a 600 meter length of pipe in the drainage and were successful in reducing the fire behavior at rank 1, ”BCWS said Monday evening.
Forest fire activity is ranked on a scale of one to six in British Columbia, with six being the highest.
“For most of the remainder of the fire, minimal Tier 1 and 2 fires were seen throughout the day with no significant growth. “
Crews are now rushing forward to contain the blaze as temperatures gradually rise. Evacuation orders for many areas not closest to the fire perimeter were lifted on Monday.
The BCWS also reminds you to stay out of areas on evacuation alert and to avoid traveling to stay speechless in the face of the fire.
“At one level, it’s a safety issue. Certainly no one should be a lookie-loo in a [evacuation] command zone, but even in an alerting area or adjacent to an alerting area, there is a reason it is on alert. At some level there is a threat and people have to be prepared to evacuate, ”Tower said.
There are now 163 wildland firefighters, 138 structural firefighters, 16 helicopters, 53 pieces of heavy equipment and a wide variety of support and logistics personnel assigned to the fire.